Alumni: Next Up Saskatoon 2010-2011

Meet the current Next Up Saskatoon Year 1 group (2010-2011)!


Eleanor Ridsdale // Saskatoon, SK

Eleanor Ridsdale grew up in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. She was brought up in a lower middle class family that struggled to make ends meet for their four children. She spent her childhood biking, building forts in the bush, and surrounded by all sorts of animals – whether they were pets or strays her family took in; she was already developing compassion for animals and other children. Eleanor then spent some time after high school living in Jasper, Alberta working in the service industry. She eventually attended the University of Saskatchewan and finished a Bachelors of Education with Distinction in 2008. She did her B.Ed through the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teaching Education Program (SUNTEP), a Bachelors of Education program for Métis individuals. She is now working with a government agency. She is passionate about women’s self image, self esteem, and self belief issues. She believes women need to unite with each and start to mother this world in order for things to improve. She cares deeply for children and animals. In her spare time she enjoys hot yoga, making jewellery, hanging with her women and men friends, and spending time with her two lions and partner. Her dream would be to live on a self sufficient farm full of children and animals.


Candice Kloeble // Saskatoon, SK

Candice Kloeble (rhymes with global) is a mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, and spouse. After graduating in 2004 with a Bachelor of Social Work Degree from the University of Regina, Candice spent the summer tree planting in Northern Saskatchewan. That same year she found herself swept up in a whirlwind romance, was married in December and moved to Kaohsuing Taiwan in January of 2005 to teach English as a Foreign Language. After teaching English for two and a half years Candice decided to further her education and obtained a Certificate of Advanced Professional Studies in Expressive Arts and Social Change from the European Graduate School in SaasFee Switzerland. In the summer of 2007 she and her partner moved back to Saskatoon. In November 2009 she had a beautiful water birth at home supported by midwives and a doula. She has spent the bulk of 2010 exploring the joys of motherhood. Candice is passionate about working towards positive growth and change in her community.


Chris Richards // Saskatoon, SK

Chris Richards is a Professional Engineer and he has a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. His area of work is energy efficiency and renewable energy and he primarily works on project management and feasibility studies. Chris is also an alumni of Engineers Without Borders, a member of the Board of Directors of Quint Development Corporation, and a member of the Project Review Committee of the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation. When Chris isn’t engrossed in a spreadsheet, volunteering, or reading books you might also find him playing his djembe at a local community event.


Christina Charteris // Saskatoon, SK

Christina grew up on a farm where her curiosity about the world & love for the Saskatchewan prairies began. Her interests include: red wine, cold beer, all-you-can-eat sushi, loud, live music, photography, astrology, vagabonding, tattoos, laughing & learning. She is passionate about social & environmental justice, human rights violations & poverty elimination efforts and is incredibly empowered by mass demonstrations & the strong, beautiful people all over the world that continue to fight for a better world The most inspiring place she’s ever been was among 15,000 others on the streets of Detroit for U.S. Social Forum’s Opening March! Christina recently completed a Social Work degree and is currently employed with Mental Health and Addictions Services. She’s glad she took a risk and embarked on this degree, because it truly led her to the place she needs to be. Her future career & research ambitions include both local & international social policy research & working amongst sustainable social development. Christina also considers herself lucky for finding such a wonderful partner & looks forward to finding the time, $, and energy to eventually plan a wedding! For the time being, she is enjoying life’s journey…


Christine Chang // Saskatoon, SK

By day, Christine is a graduate student working on her MA in Medical Anthropology at the University of Saskatchewan; by night, she is a sneaky ninja of an activist. Her research involves studying peer-run harm reduction models regarding their impact on community and structural change. As an advocate for human rights – particularly in the areas of attaining well-being and having equitable access to health services, she volunteers at Sexual Health Centre Saskatoon and at AIDS Saskatoon, and is currently serving as a board member for AIDS Saskatoon. According to fellow NU participant Taylor, a descriptive word that represents Christine is “swesian” (sweet + Asian).

Karen Rooney // Saskatoon, SK

There once was a young nurse named Karen

Whose life was anything but barren.

She applied for Next Up,

Said “Life, fill my cup!”

Once accepted, her enthusiasm was rarin’.

Passionate about health, politics and international development,

She strives to find ways to make these issues relevant.

Outdoorsy and svelte,

She is a black belt;

And also, (apparently), eloquent.


Kathleen Crowther // Saskatoon, SK

Kathleen is the Resource Development Manager at Heifer Canada. Her work there is as diverse as it is rewarding and she looks forward to building capacity as a food security advocate. Kathleen graduated with a degree in International Studies from the University of Saskatchewan. Before Heifer, Kathleen worked for Habitat for Humanity, One Change, and with the Christchurch City Council in New Zealand. She is active on many fronts in Saskatoon and volunteers with arts organizations and low-income housing initiatives. Kathleen is passionate about living sustainably and enjoys everything that life on the prairies has to offer.


Max FineDay // Saskatoon, SK

Max FineDay is of Cree/Norwegian descent & is a member of the Sweetgrass First Nation. He is currently in the process of obtaining a political studies degree at the University of Saskatchewan and one day hopes to graduate from Law school with a focus in Canadian constitution law. Outside of Next Up, Max volunteers at the Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op, an alternative school, in Saskatoon’s core neighbourhood as well as several other non-profit organizations. He believes relatable activism is a key component to any social movements success & hopes to work towards implementing it more in areas concerning Aboriginal and anti-poverty initiatives.


Roanne Kosokowsky // Saskatoon, SK

“The Great Law of Peace from the Great Spirit is perfect, balanced, true and just in every way. Only when each person has the Living Laws of Peace within their heart, thoughts, words and actions will there be lasting peace among the Nations of the Earth.” – Deganawideh, The Peacemaker

I took this quote from a book that I gave a teenage boy. A teenage boy that is trying to make sense of life, and of all the situations that were put upon him. Some of these situations were made with little thought, some with great thought, but almost all of them were made without his input or consent. A great deal of them stem from generations of hurt, destruction, and prejudices. A great deal of them occurred because society chooses over and over again to look away or force, instead of hearing, respecting, and loving unconditionally. I choose to write about this teenager because as I hear his story, learn from his forgotten wisdom, and walk alongside his path of healing, I am motivated.

Societies are made up of intertwined individuals. Each individual has a sacred story that needs to be respected and deserves to be heard. I believe that if we take the time to know who we are, and connect with our own hearts, than we can then honestly connect to others without judgment, we can begin to feel other hearts, feel different truths, and build community. I believe that social change stems from one heart opening at a time. Cliché, maybe, but I’ve felt it to be true, and it is part of my story and my struggle. My name is Roanne Kosokowsky, and I believe that this is what sustainable social and environmental justice looks like. Honesty, humility, respect, courage, wisdom, truth, love.

A thousand thank yous and a satchel of love to all of you Next Uppers for having the courage to follow your own truth, embracing life, and holding onto hope.


Stephanie Shyluk// Saskatoon, SK

Born and raised prairie girl from Saskatoon. Fond memories of public transit, the local music scene, community events, volunteering and photography. Recent successes include a BA Honours in International Studies, more home cooked meals and a great partnership with her spouse. Curious about different cultures, community development, equality and global health.
Will try most things in life once and all the fun things twice.



Taylor-Anne Yee // Saskatoon, SK

Taylor-Anne Yee is an Aquarius, loves long walks on the beach — oops… wrong bio. Currently, Taylor attends the University of Saskatchewan pursuing a major in Political Studies and a minor in Critical Perspectives on Social Justice and the Common Good. Many social issues concern Taylor, and being in Political Studies allows her to examine many different topics. Taylor has always believed that government could and should contribute to creating high standards of living for all Canadians and the global community. In university, she wants to study the relationship between the government and community and what the government’s role should be in social justice issues.

Taylor hopes people will never lose their ability to think critically, to love, and be creative. She believes positive change is a collective effort, so she hopes people will become more engaging and realize that “[t]here are no passengers on spaceship Earth, only crew” (Marshall McLuhan).

In her spare time, Taylor likes to play guitar, piano, video games, and enjoys drawing… and the occasional walk on the beach



More bios coming soon!